The New York Times:
Republican resistance to raising taxes represents a distinctly minority view. The latest New York Times/CBS poll shows that only 34 percent of adults believe that taxes should not be increased on households earning $250,000 or more to lower the budget deficit. Even this modest percentage surprises me, because only about 2 percent of American households report income above this amount.
Most conservative economists argue that higher tax rates at the top would hurt everyone because they would lower economic growth. I don’t buy this argument for a variety of reasons that I’ve explained elsewhere. However, the argument seems pretty easy to sell.
People don’t always recognize and effectively act on their economic interests. As one of my favorite behavioral economists, Dan Ariely, put it, we are all more like Homer Simpson than Superman.
I’ve always identified more with Marge Simpson than with Homer, but in any case, if the Simpsons don’t act on what we believe are their economic interests, economists should be able to explain why.
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